Dear WHY Team member,
Thinking of you during this very special time of year.
A few weeks back we talked about Thanks-giving, this week we consider For-giving.
Yes, we have so much in which to be thankful and plenty from which to give, but remember, the most important Give is to For-Give.
We’re living in the sunset of another year; yes, We Are Living! And even though I wish your year was only filled with joy and laughter, as Sheryl Sandberg shares ,”Life is not perfect, (when Option A is not available) we all live some form of Option B.”
Life taught me that challenges and pain – sometimes caused by the closest to us- pierce through our well-being. But it’s the end of the year, and while there will be the exchange of presents, food and good cheer - a truly powerful gift is to release others from what you perceive to be wrongs against you. As we learned in physics, with every action comes a reaction. Sometimes the actions of others, especially those closest to us, can deeply hurt.
Are you strong enough to give them …Forgiveness?
It isn't just the giving to the ones you like, how about giving to those who have hurt you?
We humans are flawed and often hurt the people we love most, but nothing is more damaging to a person and everyone around them than a heart filled with bitterness. As Sheryl Sandberg shares in her book Option B “part of every misery, is the misery’s shadow.” It destroys from within.
Do you have a right to be angry, disappointed, frustrated? I am sure you do, I have no doubt; the holiday season can often be one of tremendous stress and help bring all those debts that are owed you, to the surface. Because debts pile up, forgiving even the smallest transgression is a formula for a wonderful life. The greatest expression of love is to forgive. The greatest gift one can give is the expression of love; expressing our love means to forgive. You may be afraid that you’ll get hurt again, so keep the fear in your hand but far from your heart.
Every Christmas season I watch the holiday classic It's a Wonderful Life and am reminded once again how easy it is to devalue ourselves. In the movie, George cannot pay a debt and gets to the point of feeling worthless. As most of you know, only when he sees how the world would have been without him does he realize that he is far more valuable than his unpaid debts. In fact, in the end, he couldn't pay his debt - love paid his debt. First it was a love for what he did have rather than focusing on what was missing and then it was the loving overflow of generosity from others. It's a story of the redeeming power of love and always brings me to tears.
It is first up to us to recognize that what we have already received is beyond what anyone could say they deserve. We need only see the abundance in our life to know this. But if we choose to keep our balance sheets listing all the hurts others have done to us - it is we who will suffer needlessly, not to mention everyone around us. Luckily, for many of us it is easy to open our wallets and give, but are we opening our hearts and giving with the same ease?!
This season, give the greatest gift of all - give the gift of Forgiveness!
One day you may remember this day with joy and freedom and an easy heart. “And so began the rest of my life” Sheryl Sandberg
And nothing will empower you more to do this than to receive it for yourself. When George found himself on that bridge, he only saw where he had failed, he wished he had never been born. Fortunately for him, he got a chance to see what that would have meant. Your life, despite your faults and shortcomings, is far more valuable than you can ever imagine. You are a gift to the world. When you truly know this, you will want others to know this about themselves as well. Only through forgiveness for ourselves, and then for others, we can truly live A Wonderful Life - one that gives, one that serves, one that fulfills the WHY of our lives.
May forgiveness fill your heart and provide you, and the ones you love, a Very Joyous Holiday Season and a Very Happy New Year!
Best wishes to you and yours,